Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
The MONTOUR Sisters

Queen Catherine of Catherinestown (Montour Falls)

And Queen Esther of (Old) Sheshequin

This page is part of the Tri-County Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice

No Unauthorized Commercial Use may Be Made of This Material

Submitted by Bonnie Strope

Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search  the site by using the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? Family pages are listed on the Family list but also on the individual Township pages in the Photo, Bible, and other sections.

I don't have a scanner, so I'll make a photocopy of the chart I hand-copied. The original chart I copied is kept in the back room area of the Montour Falls town library. It is under a glass table top and spreads across probably a two foot square area. The library is very protective of it; and I felt very much under close scrutiny as I copied it (back in January, 1995). I'll need your mailing address to mail you a copy. For now, I'll at least send you the reference citation at the bottom of the chart:


"Family Tree made up through the research by Mrs. George Layton, Librarian at Montour Falls, NY. She cites her references: Journals of Officers Sullivan's Expedition 1779, pp. 204, 350, 362. Treaty of Lancaster 1744. By W. Marshe, Sec'y of Maryland Comm'rs."

Also, the following is a descendant chart from Family Tree Maker-I hope it will come through to you even though it is quite long.

Descendants of Monsieur Montour and Unknown Huron Indian

Generation No. 1

1. MONSIEUR1 MONTOUR was born Unknown in France1, and died Unknown in Canada. He married UNKNOWN HURON INDIAN 1665 in Canada2.

Notes for MONSIEUR MONTOUR: From the 20th and 22nd chapters of "Ketcham's Buffalo and the Senecas:', copied by Mary Louise Cleaver in her book, "The History of the Town of Catharine, NY," 1945, p. 2: "Monsieur Montour was wounded by the Mohawks in the neighborhood of Lake Champlain in 1694 in military service of the French."

More About MONSIEUR MONTOUR: Fact 1: Emigrated from France in 1665.3


2. i. CATHARINE (MADAME)2 MONTOUR, b. 1682, Canada; d. 1752, Montoursville (Shemokin on island near Northumberland), PA.

ii. MARGARET MONTOUR, b. Aft. 16823.

iii. JEAN MONTOUR, b. Aft. January 01, 1681/82.

Generation No. 2

2. CATHARINE (MADAME)2 MONTOUR (MONSIEUR1) was born 1682 in Canada3, and died 1752 in Montoursville (Shemokin on island near Northumberland), PA. She married ROBERT (CARONDOWANA) HUNTER Unknown in New York.

Notes for CATHARINE (MADAME) MONTOUR: According to an address given by Abner C. Wright in May 1940 before the Montour Historical Society, as printed in the book, "The History of the Town of Catharine, NY," by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945, p. 3: "Madame Catharine Montour, grandmother of Queen Catharine, was born in 1668 (discrepancy-BES), three years after her parents were married. Her father was a Frenchman, Monsieur Montour, who came to Canada in 1665 and married a Huron wife. When Madame Catharine Montour was about eight years old she was stolen by the Senecas and brought up in that tribe, but before that time she went to school and was being carefully reared.

Frontenac was governor of Canada at this time, and in order to cement the friendship existing between the Indians and the French he decided to adopt a child from each of the Five Nations of the Iroquois. The child he adopted from the Senecas was Catharine Montour, and the date that John S. Clarke gives is 1674. Mr. Wright did not know where he got that date. After a few years Frontenac returned to France, and before going, returned his adopted children to the tribes from which they were taken, and so Catharine came back to the Senecas in 1680. In 1711 she became an interpreter. Her husband was killed in 1729. John Logan called her an old woman in 1733. Witham Marsh says she had been "very handsome." She is said by some to have died and been buried in 1752, at Montoursville, Pa., sometimes called "Shemokin," on the island near Northumberland, Pa. The English name of her husband was "Robert Hunter." She and all of her children were staunch adherents of the English, the cause of her bitterness toward the French being the unjust slaying of her brother. Madame Montour left a wonderful legacy; five children who did splendid things in helping the English win from the French this land in the new world, which was being claimed by the French.

Her children were Margaret, John, Andrew, Henry and Lewis..."

More About CATHARINE (MADAME) MONTOUR: Fact 1: One source says her birth year is 1684

Fact 2: Catharine moved to Montoursville, PA


Fact 1: Oneida Indian Chief

Fact 2: One source says he was killed in 1729.4


3. i. MARGARET (FRENCH MARGARET) MONTOUR3 HUNTER, b. Unknown, New York; d. Unknown, New York.

ii. ANDREW MONTOUR HUNTER, b. Unknown, New York; d. Unknown.


From the 20th and 22nd chapters of "Ketcham's Buffalo and the Senecas:" copied by Mary Louise Cleaver in her book, "The History of the Town of Catharine, NY," 1945, p. 2: "Capt. Andrew Montour was an interpreter in 1756-7."


Fact 1: May have been an interpreter

iii. JEAN MONTOUR HUNTER, b. Unknown5; d. Unknown.

iv. HENRY MONTOUR HUNTER, b. Unknown; d. Unknown.


Generation No. 3


3. MARGARET (FRENCH MARGARET) MONTOUR3 HUNTER (CATHARINE (MADAME)2 MONTOUR, MONSIEUR1) was born Unknown in New York6, and died Unknown in New York. She married PETER QUEBEC Abt. 17337.


According to the book, "The History of the Town of Catharine,NY," by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945, p. 3: "...'French Margaret,' married Peter Quebec in 1733 or before. At any rate, they were living at Shemokin, on some island, at that time. In 1745 they went to Ohio and returned, and in 1777 they settled on Lycoming Creek, the village being known as "French Margaret's Town." To this village Moravian missionaries came in 1753, and reported that she had said; "Peter Quebec has drunk no wine for the last six years"; also that she had prohibited liquor in her town, had instituted other reforms and enjoyed the respect of her people.

In 1755, after "Braddock's defeat," they came up the Susquehanna to the mouth of the Chemung; Margaret Montour, her daugher Catharine, and others. From Tioga Point they went farther up to Ehlanemet (Wellsburg). Mr. Wright said he had picked up many fragments of pottery at this place, which in all probability was the site of the residence of French Margaret and her daughter Catharine at one time. He pointed out that this region had been built layer by layer, and each layer shows evidence of Indian town sites..."


Fact 1: Mohawk Indian


4. i. (QUEEN CATHARINE) CATHARINE MONTOUR4 QUEBEC, b. Abt. 1710; d. February 20, 1804, Catharinestown (Montour Falls), NY.

ii. (QUEEN ESTHER) ESTHER MONTOUR QUEBEC, b. Unknown, New York; d. Unknown;


This sign is on Route 220 
at Milan and Green's Landing, south of Athens PA

 A Watch Town
The South Door
of Iroquois long house
was situated on the point
at the meeting of the rivers
200 rods to the Northeast
of the Delware Indians
was 100 rods to the east
along the Chemung River Bank

Both Towns were destroyed by
Colonel Thomas Hartley
and his troops
September 27, 1778

These flats for five miles
known as Queen Esther's Flats
were grazing ground 
for their herds

Photographed November 23, 1998
by Joyce M.Tice


According to "The History of the Town of Catharine, NY," by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945, p. 1: Queen Esther was called the Fiend of Wyoming (Wyoming Massacre).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Copied from "History of Old Tioga Point and Early Athens, Pennsylvania," by Louise Welles Murray, 1908, pp. 111-114: speaking of Queen Esther's settlement near Athens, PA at the junction of the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers..."Here Esther had a castle, or palace, thus described by Robert Covenhoven (who claims to have destroyed it):

'It was a long, low edifice, constructed with logs set in the ground at intervals of ten feet, with horizontal hewn plancks or puncheons neatly fitted into grooves in the posts. It was roofed or thatched and had some sort of a porch or other ornament over the doorway.'

Mrs. Perkins (Julia Anna SHEPARD), in "Early Times," says: 'Queen Esther's village was said to contain about seventy rude houses." Queen Esther is described as a large, heavily built woman, of commanding appearance, walking erect. She had great influence with the Indians, and prior to the Wyoming massacre she treated the whites with uniform kindness and courtesy. She was a prominent figure in the Susquehanna Valley until the time of the Sullivan expedition. In 1790 she was living on the east shore of Cayuga Lake with a band of Tuscarora Indians under Steel Trap (so says Craft). What became of her is not certain, though many localities claim to hold her grave. Thomas Maxwell, in notes for Schoolcraft," says he inquired of many of Sullivan's soldiers, and several told him that Queen Esther was killed while the army lay at Tioga Point, by a party of Sullivan's troops, in revenge for her atrocities at Wyoming, and that all the old settlers said she was no longer alive when they came, in 1788 or 1790. The following accounts make this seem dubious. He also records that he interviewed Mrs. Matthias Hollenback and her daughter, Mrs. Tuttle, about Brant and Queen Esther. They represented Esther as looked upon universally with horror and detestation. Mrs. Perkins says, "she was represented as quiet and trustful in time of peace, and that after the war closed she often went back and forth from Tioga to Onondaga unprotected.

Judge Gore's daughter, Hannah (Mrs. Durkee)(See Hannah Gore Story) , lived near Esther's final home on Cayuga Lake. Mrs. Durkee relates that she was well acquainted with her, that Esther once stopped at her house and asked in broken Enblish for a night's shelter for herself and her sister, who was much intoxicated and carrying a papoose. As all they asked was a sleeping place on the kitchen floor, the request was granted. Mrs. Perkins says her last known residence was at Onondaga. Queen Esther had, it is supposed, several children. One son, much beloved, was killed at Exeter, just before the Wyoming massacre. This inflamed all her latent vengeful Indian blood, and, although it was contradicted by some writers, there is no doubt but that she was at Wyoming.

[Footnote #12: Craft says: In one of the scouting parties up the river, of which Wm. Dalton, afterwards of Wyalusing was one, a son of Queen Esther was shot. Though mortally wounded, he had strength to raise his rifle, fired and wounded Dalton in the knee. The death of her son inflamed all the Indian blood of the haughty queen.]

...All know the horrid story, how the prisoners (fourteen at least) were arranged in a ring, and one after the other tomahawked by the enraged woman. The next day, when the Indians and British came into the fort, Judge Gore's daughter tells that Esther was heard to say she was never so tired in her life as she was yesterday, killing so many darned Yankees. Col. Franklin says that, as the visitors entered the Fort, 'Queen Esther, with all the impudence of an infernal being, turned to Col. Denison and said: 'Well, Col. Den-i-sen, you make me promise to bring more Indians, here, see (waving her hand) I bring all these.' Col. John Butler, incensed, told her 'that women should be seen, not heard.'"

She evidently understood, as later in the day "she was seen riding astride a stolen horse on a stolen side saddle, placed hind end forward, with seven bonnets one upon the other upon her head, with all the clothing she could contrive to get on, and over all a scarlet riding cloak, carrying in her hand a string of scalps from the slaughtered friends of those who were the witnesses of her savage pride, and sufferers from her brutality."

[Footnote #13: This seems a highly exaggerated story--not well corroborated.]

Craft says, "She was a frequent visitor in the family of Mr. Van Valkenberg (...of which I am a descendent-BES) at Wysox, and all her intercourse with the whites was marked with kindness and courtesy. But her fiendish brutality at Wyoming obliterated every kindly recollection and made her name a synonym for cruelty." Gen. Clark says that Roswell Franklin, who lived near Wysox, was well acquainted with her when living on the Susquehanna. It seems reasonable to believe, from all these eye witnesses, that Queen Esther was certainly at Wyoming, especially as most of the Indian participants were Senecas, and no real attempt has been made, as in the case of Brant, to prove an alibi. We have found at a late day, among the Smiley papers, in a narrative of David Allen, some additional accounts of Queen Esther at Wyoming.

'A squaw called Queen Esther came over with the warriors, a bloody spear in her hand. She made motions, and said 'seven Yankees' blood,' meaning she had with the spear killed that many prisoners in revenge she said for the Indian killed up the river, a relative of hers. She now ordered the women of the fortification to prepare dinner for the considerable company that were with her. They were not only forced to prepare it in haste, but the Indians refused to eat a mouthful until the white people had first eaten some of it.'

David Allen was an eye witness; it is reasonable to believe his statement, which was as a whole corroborated by others.

Queen Esther's Town was entirely destroyed by fire by Col. Hartley's soldiers, September 27 or 28, 1778. Covenhoven put the brand to her castle himself: 'several canoes were taken and some plunder." We believe some other Indian village preceded this one on Queen Esther's Flats, for in her day the Indians had firearms, and we have been told by members of the Watkins family, present owners of part of Queen Esther's Flats, that many years ago, after the spring floods, innumerable arrow points were plowed up on the plain, indicating a great battle, prior to the use of firearms. Also that particular location is full of Indian graves, as can be attested by the many pieces of pottery and other relics in our Museum. The pottery is much larger and coarser in make than any other found in this valley, and also differs from most varieties hereabouts in being colored, or, more probably, made of brick clay. A true relic of Queen Esther's clan, however, is also in Tioga Point Museum, a very perfect pipe, on the bowl of which is carved a wolf's head, the totem of her clan. This was found on Queen Esther's Flats, the general name for the river flats above Milan, and is shown in a plate with other Indian relics.

Photo of the confluence of the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers at Tioga Point, in the southernmost part of Athens Township, Bradford County PA.  The location of Queen Esther's Town is shown on the left bank of the Chemung River opposite the point. 

Photo taken by Joyce M. Tice, February 26, 1999

The late Judge Avery of Owego recorded many interesting facts concerning Queen Esther, related to him by Mrs. Whittaker (sic-Whitaker), who was Jane Strope of Wysox. (Jane Strope-my ancestoral aunt-BES) By courtesy of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, Mrs. Whittaker's narrative, as written down by Judge Avery, has been copied for our use. There are also various additional facts, related by Judge Avery, in articles published in the Owego St. Nicholas. Mrs. Whittaker related that she had often seen Queen Esther at the house of her father, Sebastian Strope, where she was always a welcome visitor and hospitably received; that she spoke English poorly, yet ordinarily made herself understood. That she boasted that there was another language (doubtless French) with which she was quite as familiar as with the Indian. Just prior to the Wyoming massacre the entire Strope family were made captives by the Indians and brought to Tioga Point. Here, of course, they again met Queen Esther. Mrs. Whittaker says:

'All of my father's family were well acquainted with Queen Esther of Shishequin before we were taken prisoners. She treated us well, and showed us the same kind disposition after we were captives that she did before. Her influence with the Indians was unbounded; when she appeared she was treated with the utmost deference. * * She was supposed to be of French and Indian parentage. She was a tall, but not very fleshy woman--not as dark as the usual Indian in complexion--had the features of a white woman--cheek bones not high, hair black, but soft and fine like a white woman, not the heavy black hair of the squaw. Her form erect and commanding, her appearance and manners agreeable. She walked straight and had not the bend of the squaw; she had not the Indian mode of turning toes in. She had a sister Mary--a tall fleshy woman--and there was a squaw named Chemuah, from whom I heard the river (Chemung) was named. She was called a queen and Queen Esther called her sister; I think undoubtedly they were of white blood. Her dress was rich and showy with a profusion of glittering ornaments. She had short skirts reaching a little below the knee, made of imported blue cloth, and stockings to meet the skirt and beautifully worked pantalettes of blue cloth and other material. The skirt was ornamented with brooches of silver, as were the warriors' clothes. All the squaws had small bells on their moccasin strings and pantalettes. They used blankets varying in texture as did the males. Queen Esther wore a necklace of pure hite beads from which hung a cross of stone or silver. Mrs. Whittaker thought it was carved from a whitish stone, polished by long use, possibly spar.'

This would indicate life in a Catholic colony or Jesuit influence. (BES comment: Moravian missionaries had influenced Queen Esther's parents...perhaps this influence reached to some extent into the life of Queen Esther.)

Queen Esther was very kind to the Stropes during their captivity at Tioga Point. She not only interposed in behalf of the males, that they might escape running the gauntlet; but at one time she invited Jane, then a girl of twelve, to accompany her to her castle for a visit. Mrs. Strope objected; but later she and Jane crossed the river and rambled over the premises of the Queen. The plain on which the castle stood, Jane said, was near the mouth of the Chemung, in full view of the point. The main building was long and low, built of hewn logs and planks, neatly done, with a porch over the doorway, and surrounded by a number of other buildings.

Mrs. Whittaker stated that once, when Queen Esther visited Wysox, she was accompanied by a half-breed called Catherine, believed to be her sister. When the captive Stropes were on their way to Niagara they stopped a week or two at Catherine's Town, where she saw this same woman, doubtless the Catherine Montour often confounded with Queen Esther.

There is another pleasant story of Esther, antedating Wyoming. In 1777 John Jenkins and James Sutton made a journey to Queen Esther's Town to obtain the liberation of a prisoner, Mr. Ingersol. They were treated with great respect by the Queen, who entertained them herself, told them she was opposed to war, etc. These visitors said she had correct views of religion and moral obligations, indicating a civilization quite at variance with her later conduct at Wyoming. While in her house, feeling quite at ease, they heard the Indian war whoop outside. The Queen at once went out and talked to the warriors; returning, she told the visitors that the outsiders were determined to waylay and kill them, adding, "I can do nothing with them; lay down until I call you." When all became quiet in the night she called them, told them to go to the river, take her canoe, and hold paddle adgewise, so as not to splash the water, and try to get away before discovered, which they were able to do, in safety.

Craft says he thinks she lived near Tioga after the war, as he saw her name on books kept by Matthias Hollenback after his store was opened in Athens. We have searched in vain for these Hollenback account books, wherein others have also told Queen Esther had accounts. The only one found has accounts as in Pearce's "Annals of Wyoming," i.e., "December 15, 1774, Queen Esther Dr. to sundries L3, 11 pence."

It is very apparent from the various narratives that Queen Esther, or Easter, as she was often called, in her whole life and character showed the half-breed to an unusual extent; first, seemingly influenced by the white blood, and then by the red, presenting a most interesting psychological problem to the thoughtful mind. Her personality, as distinguished from the other Montours, has generally been a matter of conjecture, but recent investigations seem to have unravelled the web of mystery surrounding the whole Montour family. They have not here been considered as a whole because Esther was the only one closely connected with the history of this locality.

However, it may not be amiss to here record that the post stained with the juice of the wild strawberry (errected by Cornplanter to mark the burial place of a great chief and brave) was supposed to have memorialized the son of Catherine Montour. The Painted Post has always been well known, and gave its name to a certain portion of the vast Pultney estate in southern New York, first known as part of the Phelps and Gorham purchase."


Fact 1: They lived on the flats below Elmira, NY8


Fact 1: Sheshegon Indian Chief



Fact 1: They lived on the Alleghany River8


Fact 1: John was a Seneca Indian Chief8

iv. 1ST SON MONTOUR QUEBEC, b. Unknown.

v. 2ND SON MONTOUR QUEBEC, b. Unknown.

Generation No.4


17108, and died February 20, 1804 in Catharinestown (Montour Falls), NY 8 . She married (1) UNKNOWN CAPTAIN POLLAIRD. She married (2) THOMAS (TELEMUT OR TELENEMUT) HUDSON Unknown in Ehlanemet (Wellsburg), NY9.

Copied from, "Sullivan Clinton Campaign 1779-1779, A Bicentennial Commemorative," by Thomas Byrne, Chemung County Historical Society, Inc., 304 William Street, Elmira, NY 14901, p. 23: "The story of Catharine's Town is told in bronze in state marker on Route 14, south of Montour Falls. (Text: 'Catharines Town - A village of the Senecas, destroyed by a Continental army under General John Sullivan. British and Indians defeated at the Battle of Newtown August 29, 1779 retreated to this place where a two days' war council resulted in abandonment of their villages, orchards and crops and further retreat to the protection of the British at Fort Niagara. The home of Catharine Montour, sister of Queen Esther Montour of Wyoming notoriety and reputed grand-daughter of Madame Montour, interpretess for the colony of New York in early 18th century.')

Photo at right taken at Montour Falls by Joyce M. Tice May 2, 1999

According to, "The History of the Town of Catharine, NY," by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945, pp. 1-5: "Queen Catharine married Telemut or Thomas Hudson, a Seneca Chief, who died in 1760. She became Queen after the chief's death, and at the time of Sullivan's march, in 1779, was living with her tribe in the Chemung Valley, near Montour Falls, N.Y., evacuated before the oncoming of the troops and fled with her tribe to western N.Y. and Canada. An article about Queen Catharine, in the files of old newspapers in Montour Falls Library, says she received a small salary from the English because of her influence with the Indians.

An article found in the Havana Journal of 1854, which was taken from "Stone's Life of Brant": The Indian Queen Catharine Montour lived about 80-100 rds. from the Indian village, on a rise of ground, or sand hill, now used as a family burial ground by the McClure family. George Mills, Esq., says he saw her frequently when he came into the country about 70 years ago (1784), often ate meals with her at her shanty or wigwam at that place, consisting of fish or game. Kept salt in a little wooden dish, which she would give whites to use on food, but no salt for herself.

In an unpublished history of Wyoming, it was stated that the celebrated Catharine Montour was present with her tribes and 'she ranged the field of blood like a warrior, stimulating her warriors of her adopted race to the onslaught even in the hottest of the fight, but from the antecedent character of that remarkable woman, the story can hardly be credited. (BES comment: More than likely, this story is about Catharine's sister, Esther, whose anger was stirred after the murder of her son near Athens, PA) She was a native of Canada, a half-breed, her father being one of the early French Governors, probably Frontenac, as he must have been in the government about the time of her birth (incorrect information-BES). During the war of the Six Nations and French and Hurons, Catharine, when about ten, was made captive, taken to Seneca Country, and adopted into the tribe, and she married one of the chieftains, who fell in battle about 1730.'

...On a clipping from the Montour Falls Free Press of 1904 is a portion of a letter written to John Corbett, a local historian, which we insert here: 'It is through the relatives of the McClures, that we learn that the first permanent settlers of Catharine Valley were Thomas, William, and John McClure, who came from the Wyoming Valley in 1787 into this section. These three brothers, in 1789, sent a petition to Albany from Catharinestown, N.Y., stating that they were settlers on 300 A. each, and praying for relief against gaining of title to the land by others, as they had been in possession for two years. Their holdings included the historical grounds on which was located the Indian village of Chequegah, or Catharinestown, and embraced a large portion of the watershed of Havana Glen, long known as McClure's Creek.

The McClure burying ground was the small knoll to the eastward of the Charles Cook monument. It was originally the place of burial of the Senecas, but its graves have long since been removed or obliterated, and its treeless sandy soil is fast being leveled by the plow. Near the center of the mound was without doubt the burial place of the "most famous personage" that ever lived within the Catharine Valley. This was Catharine Montour, Queen of the Senecas at the time of General Sullivan's expedition against the Iroquois.

The writer has before him [Corbett] a letter received by the late Col. E. W. Cook, written Aug. 1874, from T. Apoleon Cheney, who years previous to this time made special study of the Catharine Valley history. It was his conclusion that "Queen Catharine" was buried a little on the north side of the high part of the McClure burying ground.'

From the letter, one would infer that Mr. and Mrs. Cheney talked about erecting a monument on the spot, for the letter enclosed the following epitaph: 'Here lies Catharine Montour, born about 1710, until her decease a resident of Catharinestown. In 1730 became Queen of the Seneca tribe of Indians. A sincere friend in the American cause of the Revolution of 1775-81. Died at Catharinestown Feb. 20, 1804.' (T. Apoleon Cheney is remembered by Frank Severne of Watkins Glen, N.Y., as living, when he was a small boy, in a house near the school house on the Millport road outside of Montour Falls, N.Y. He had written many historical articles of note.)

FACTS ABOUT CATHARINE MONTOUR (Notes from an address by Abner C. Wright in May 1940, before the Montour Historical Society, on "Queen Catharine Montour and her Family," quoting as his authorities Mrs. Louise Welles Murray and Mr. Cole of Waverly, who had done considerable research among the John S. Clarke papers.)

'...In 1755, after "Braddock's defeat," they came up the Susquehanna to the mouth of the Chemung; Margaret Montour, her daugher Catharine, and others. From Tioga Point they went farther up to Ehlanemet (Wellsburg). ...It was here that Catharine married Telenemut, a Seneca chief, and upon his death in 1769 became Queen Catharine. Shortly after his death she went to Canisteo. In 1764 the Indians slipped a bit in their allegiance to the English and Sir William Johnson sent a punitive expedition against them (Page 392, Vol. IV, Sir William Johnson's Papers). Queen Catharine was therefore forced to leave Canisteo. She knew all about this beautiful flat at the end of Seneca Lake. She came here and lived with her people until Sullivan drove her out. The Indians had large cornfields and orchards. They prospered here.

John Corbett, writing of Catharine's Town, says the town was a collection of habitations far in advance of the Senecas of wigwam days. Nearly half a hundred houses of the village were ranged on both sides of the Inlet Stream, built of logs with an idea of permanency. Beans and pumpkins grew among the hills of corn. Upon the natural meadow horses and cattle grazed. Within the glade, swine roamed at will. General Sullivan's soldiers reported the land exceeding any ever seen by them. Queen Catharine's house was "a gambril ruft house" about thirty feet long and eighteen feet wide. It was also reposted that Catharine fled with her children after trying to persuade the Indians to stand and meet the Americans. Some believe she was favorable to them, having visited Philadelphia on different occasions and acting as an interpreter between the Indians and Americans.'

Quoting from the Havana Journal of June 9, 1860: 'Queen Catharine survived her husband several years and ruled with power and dignity. She lived to become very aged, and died near this village some 80 years ago and her body lies in the "White Man's Cemetery." She was a remarkable woman who secured for herself the respect of her people by her fearless and determined character. Imbued with more than ordinary intellectual powers, she meted out to all exact justice and demanded implicit obedience. She was regarded by the whites as a superior woman. Justice was never done the memory of this noble woman, until her character and history came under the cognizance some 25 years ago of Mrs. Anna S. Stephens. Mrs. Stephens wrote a work of fiction founded on fact and the veritable history of the Life of Queen Catharine.'

FROM STONE'S LIFE OF BRANT: 'She is said to have been a hansome woman when young, genteel and of polite address, notwithstanding her Indian associations. It was frequently her lot to accompany the Chiefs of the Six Nations to Philadelphia and other places where treaties were holden and from her character and manners she was caressed by the American ladies, particularly in Philadelphia where she was invited by the ladies of the best circles and entertained at their houses.' 'Writ in water' usually conveys a very fleeting impression, but the Indian Spring on the farm of that name, residence of George W. Kellogg is Queen Catharine's unmistakable signature. It is directly opposite the site of ancient "Chequegah" (Queen Catharine's Town). Mr. Charles Watkins is authority for saying that there existed a well trodden footpath between the two places from his earliest remembrances, and that an old wooden ruin called "the Indian House" stood in his youth where Catharinestown had been. The flood of 1937 washed over this site uncovering evidence both of Catharine's Town and of General Sullivan's camping place. A perfect circle of black earth, thirty feet in diameter, appeared, totally different from the clay soil in which it was deeply embedded, possibly a campfire of long standing; also four spots evenly distanced, showing caked ashes and carbonized corn and deer bones, no doubt the cooking fires in a Long House, which was characteristic of the Iroquois. Furthermore, there was unearthed a sword and a leather scabbard, badly rusted and decayed, undoubtedly lost by one of Sullivan's soldiers. There is a copy of a map of this campsite made by one of the men.

There is also in the library a map which Charles Cook had made of this spot of land which he proposed to have used by his family as a cemetery. This map has on it a proposed monument to Queen Catharine, to be placed where, on another map, her grave is marked. There are residents still living here who recall when "the Indian's grave" on this place had a wooden fence around it. It would now require a surveyor to locate it. The Montour Historical Society had undertaken the care of the Cook lot, which has grown to brambles.' Both tradition and probability place the final resting-place of Queen Catharine Montour on the spot long sacred to the Indians, the site of Chequagah, now the burying ground chosen by Charles Cook of Montour Falls.


Fact 1: Thomas was a Seneca Indian Chief

 Children of (QUEEN QUEBEC and THOMAS HUDSON are:


ii. JOHN MONTOUR HUDSON, b. Unknown; d. 1830, Big Tree (Geneseo), New York10.

iii. BELLE MONTOUR HUDSON, b. Unknown.



Fact 1: Living in 1788 in New Salem10


 1. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library.

2. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library, p. 3

3. the History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library.

4. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library, p. 3

5. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library.

6. the History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library.

7. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library, p. 3

8. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library.

9. The History of the Town of Catharine, NY, by Mary Louise Cleaver, 1945. Copy located at Montour Falls Library, p. 4.

10. Blue Print Family Tree made up through the research by Mrs. George Layton, Librarian at Montour Falls, NY. References: Journals of Officers

Sullivan's Expedition 1779, pp. 204, 350, 362. Treaty of Lancaster 1744. by

W. Marshe, Sec'y of Maryland Comm'rs

Salut Joyce,

I read the from Family Tree Maker-I hope it will come through to you even though it is quite long.
 Descendants of Monsieur Montour and Unknown Huron Indian

Generation No. 1

1. MONSIEUR1 MONTOUR was born Unknown in France1, and died Unknown in Canada. He married UNKNOWN HURON INDIAN 1665 in Canada2.

that appeared  your the Tri-County Genealogy & History Sites

We have done extensive research (primary and secondary sites) on the Montour family heritage.

You can find this data in two places one at
The Monsieur Montour referred in the information in Family Tree Maker is most likely the same Pierre Couc dit Montour that is found on my website  at the above url.

Suzanne Boivin Sommerville has done extensive primary and secondary ressource research on the Montour family. Her 11 articles appear in our online magazine at
and select   Suzanne's articles over the next 11 months.

I hope this helps to clear up the many errors in the Family Tree Make lineage chart that someone sent you.

Norm (No surname signed)

Philip A. Henhawk offers the following commentary on the article above.
In a message dated 10/20/2010 11:02:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

There is false information in this story and there are misspellings in the Native Names given.

True enough that Catharine was adopted into the Seneca Nation however she would not have ever been a chief. There are nor have there ever been female chiefs within the Iroquoian Nations.

She was neither a matriarch but was looked upon as what we call an “Old Moccasin of the House” which although not a Clan Mother was held in respect as that of a Clan Mother.

Being an “Old Moccasin” also lends one to being able to be recognized as a representative and speaking in the Grand Council.     

Our law “Kayaneren’ko:wa” does not allow adoptees to hold office (Titles) to positions such as Condoled Life Chief, War Chief, and Clan Mother.

The majority of people called chiefs that you read about in history were either War Chiefs, Pine Tree Chiefs or Representatives. We have 50            Condoled Life Chiefs within the Five Nations (Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas). In history ninety percent were never named although they each have a title. When a Life Chief dies another is raised in place with the same title.

Now the names that are written incorrectly:

Robert (Carondowana) Hunter    should be spelled: Robert (Karontowanen means Big Tree) Hunter

Lewis Montour Carondowana     should be spelled: Lewis Montour Karontowanen

John (Kanaghragait-White Mingo) Cook should be spelled: John (Kanahraken means light skinned – White Mingo) Cook 

There you have it.

Philip A. Henhawk

Joyce Tip Box -- December 2007 -
If you are not navigating this Tri-Counties Site via the left and right sidebars of the Current What's New page you are doing yourself a disservice. You can get to any place on the site easily by making yourself familiar with these subject and place topics. Try them all to be as familiar with the site's 16,000 plus pages as you can. Stop groping in the dark and take the lighted path. That's also the only way you'll find the search engines for the site or have access to the necessary messages I may leave for you. Make it easy on yourself. 
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